February 3, 2020

Today, John Avlon did a reality check on Trump's lies.

"Is it now okay to lie because the president does it? Because that's what Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley asked when he voted to remove Bill Clinton from office. And it's still a relevant question. President Trump and his lawyers have said this from the beginning:

The president has done absolutely nothing wrong.

"But to block witnesses, GOP senators like Lamar Alexander had to give that argument the Heisman."

LAMAR ALEXANDER: I think it was wrong. Inappropriate. The question for me was, do I need more evidence to conclude that the president did what he did? And I concluded, no.

"In other words, even some of the president's defenders now admit that the president did do something wrong. They should know President Trump is not going to change. The man is routinely at war with the truth. so the impulse to cover up is constant. From big things to small, it goes way back. If you take the self-styled stable genius at his word, you wonder why he won't let anyone see his grades. Here's a direct witness."

MICHAEL COHEN: I'm talking about a man who declares himself brilliant but directed me to threaten his high school school, his colleges, and college board to never release his grades or S.A.T. scores.

"This extends to his health. Remember the doctor note he released during the campaign, saying his physical strength and stamina is extraordinary and he would be the healthiest person elected to the presidency. It turns out Trump dictated that note to his doctor. And the doctor said his office was raided and his medical files seized. Of course the candidate who argued he was so rich he couldn't be bought, said he wanted to release this tax returns, has gone to extraordinary lengths to block said tax returns. Even taking it all the way to the Supreme Court. Saying he doesn't watch cable news or pay attention to the stock market," Avlon said.

"No one should be surprised. He tried to block all witnesses and evidence in the trial. Even hours after blocking evidence, they admitted they'd been hiding two dozen emails. This isn't a credibility gap. It's a chasm. And still many republicans seem afraid to say the obvious, let alone clearly condemn. Here's Iowa's Joni Ernst.

REPORTER: Do you think it was inappropriate and wrong?

ERNST: I think going for corruption is the right thing to do. Now, if he was tying it to other things, that's the president.

But if the president actually cared about corruption, he wouldn't have tried to cut the budget to combat corruption by billions -- including a cut for Ukraine. Wouldn't have called a global anti-bribery law horrible and wouldn't have started calling out Biden. It's still not okay to lie because a president does it. And it's not okay to normalize those lies just because it's a president from your political party. And that's your reality check.'

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